An interesting case is currently making its way through the court system and may have far reaching implications for the landlord/tenant relationship in relation to tenancy renewals; making it more difficult for a landlord to refuse the renewal of a tenancy.
The Energy Efficiency Regulations 2015 brought into force minimum energy efficiency standards for residential and commercial properties. As of 1 April 2018, Landlords with properties within the scope of these Regulations must not renew existing tenancies or grant new tenancies if the property has less than the minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘E’. It is estimated that a significant number of rented properties in England and Wales have an F or G rating.
A new report by Paragon Mortgages to mark the 18th birthday – or "coming of age" – of buy to let, predicts that landlords will continue to make an average of 11% a year for the next decade.
It found that since 1996, £1,000 invested in a buy-to-let property has turned into £13,048, an annual rate of return of 16.3% a year, buoyed by fast-rising house prices and rents. Over the same period shares would have earned investors 6.8% a year, bonds 6.5% and savings in the bank 4%. However, first-time property buyers have been victims of the buy-to-let boom, say critics, with renters now facing a 15-year wait to buy property.
If you own private rental property you may be at risk if you do not protect the deposits taken from your tenants.
We would always advise that Landlords take tenant deposits to protect them in the event that a property is left with damages to repair or with rent arrears outstanding. Since 2007 landlords have been required to protect any deposits taken with an authorised scheme or face the prospect of a tenant claiming damages of three times the deposit value. In reality however, landlords could avoid protecting the deposit right up until the day before the hearing and still escape liability.
Tenants trying to exercise a break clause in their leases before the end of a quarterly rent period should beware trying to pay only a pro rata part of that rent when it is demanded, or risk the break being ruled ineffective by the court.